Tag Archives: Tahawus

Corporate Bureaucracy Stalling Railroad Freight In Upstate New York

Corporate bureaucracy is now stalling movement of railroad freight between Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties and the Port of Albany

We have been following, writing about and supporting railroads in the Adirondacks for quite a while. Mostly with stories about the “MYSTICAL” place called Tahawus. (Can’t call it the “fabled” because we also push the “FABLED RUTLAND MILK“). The NEWS ENTERPRISE has put together an excellent story on this PROBLEM. I’m going to follow along with the discussion and interject when I feel I can add something, Penney

QUEENSBURY — Corporate bureaucracy now stalling movement of railroad freight between Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties and the Port of Albany has prompted area officials to form a tri-county task force to expedite a solution


Warren County leaders said this week they and task force members will likely be asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to influence officials of several railroads that hold right-of-way privileges on various stretches of track between Warren County and the Port of Albany to cooperate and reach agreements so goods and materials produced in the three counties can move freely to national markets.

Penney comment: How about asking Senator Chuck Shumer for support too? He has been supportive in the past.

Warren County Economic Development Corp. President Ed Bartholomew talked of the delays that the Saratoga-North Creek Railway was experiencing in securing access to the port so it can move many thousands of tons of granite gravel from Tahawus downstate to potential customers. The “high friction” aggregate mined in Tahawus has been eyed for use in premium asphalt and concrete products produced in New Jersey and southern New York State.

Penney Comment: Tahawus is almost like a “national treasure”. Used to be owned by the US Government even.

Bartholomew also said that Finch Pruyn and Irving Tissue were interested in delivering shipments of their paper products via rail, but were stymied by the lack of freight agreements.

Penney comment: This is so great that all sorts of customers are returning to the rails. They got turned off by the “giant railroad” approach to business and end up paying more for trucks that cost more to them and to the environment.

He said that moving freight to the Port of Albany required cooperation from Canadian Pacific and CSX — who lease the railroad tracks between the two destinations — as well as from the entity controlling the access spur into the port.

Penney comment: THIS IS SUCH “BS”. What is different than the “Port of New York and New Jersey”? Let’s think “out of the box”. An active, publically funded authority already exists: Capitol District Transportation Authority. Put them over the port and negate the “old boys” agreement that does not seem to work.

Bartholomew said that efficient, inexpensive rail freight service was vital for attracting and retaining industry.

Penney comment: How right you are Mr. Bartholomew. Giving these three counties no access to the rest of the world other than the Northway is like telling them to “die on the vine”.

Solving these rail freight issues will help new and existing businesses,” he told Warren County supervisors attending the county Economic Growth & Development Committee meeting July 3. He noted that two wood-product manufacturers are seeking to locate in northern Warren County, and rail freight availability is critical to the success of their enterprises. Securing cost-efficient rail freight agreements would make local companies’ products more price-competitive in the world markets, Bartholomew added. One rail car can hold a volume of material that would require five tractor-trailer trucks to transport, he said, noting the financial savings and environmental benefits of rail transportation.

Bartholomew said that with an eye on solving obstacles to efficient transportation of materials and products, he was seeking grant funding for a study of rail freight issues and potential solutions.

Penney comment: Again, right on target Mr. Bartholomew. Sounds like Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, who else? Where are the Congressmen and Senator Gillibrand? Out to lunch?

Besides the matter of corporate cooperation, another obstacle was the lack of available rail cars, and the need to upgrade railroad tracks for the considerable weight of freight, Bartholomew continued.

Penney comment: This rail car thing is a NATIONAL problem. Lot of it caused by “fracking oil”. Maybe time for more unique solutions like the State of Washington used for grain cars. North Dakota is going through lots of agony now.

Saratoga-North Creek Railway Operations Manager Justin Gonyo said July 8 that his company was currently negotiating contracts with Canadian Pacific and CSX, and the three firms have experienced good working relations. He added that his company was now involved in a project to upgrade tracks between Tahawus and Corinth.

Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty of Warrensburg said that establishing rail freight access was vital to the region’s economic sustainability and future prosperity. A former plant manager for International Paper in Corinth — with experience in arranging transportation of bulk products, Geraghty was asked to join the task force now in formation.

Geraghty predicted that Bartholomew would be effective in making headway in freight movement. Bartholomew serves on the state’s Capital Region Economic Development Council and has experience as a consultant to the state senate and to various legislators.

If there’s anyone who can get these problems solved it’s Ed,” Geraghty said. “We need to do everything we can to get freight moving by rail to Albany.”

Penney Comment: Mr. Bartholomew, looks like you are the “point man”. Anything we can do for you is “gratis”, we are located in France, but our manager is an American who is on top of this. Currently working on the All Aboard Florida thing.

Find out about Project and Fairpromise


Those Great Pictures On Our Blog Header


PICTURE ABOVE: At left is KC Jones, who authors the Global Highway. In the middle is Penney Vanderbilt, World’s Greatest Blogger. At the right is the Promenade des Anglais in Nice France.


PICTURE ABOVE:At left is a great picture of the goalie for the Utica Comets, a new American Hockey League team we follow. In the middle, is a drawing of David and Goliath out of the Bible. We use this drawing to publicize Loren Data, a small EDI and Electronic Commerce company that fights the giants of the industry. At the right is Brewster, New York, besides being the birthplace of Penney Vanderbilt, it was an important station on the New York Central Railroad.


PICTURE ABOVE:At left is the “Albany Night Boat”. We also talk a lot about the Livingston Avenue Bridge in the background. In the Center is a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Nice, France. At the right is a picture of the New York Central Harmon Shops.


PICTURE ABOVE:At left is the Rutland Milk Train passing through the Troy Union Railroad‘s station in Troy, New York. Read the story to find out why it is “fabled”. In the center, is the Tramway, in Nice, France. At the right, is the railroad station in Ogdensburg, New York. Read more about the New York Central in the St. Lawrence region.


PICTURE ABOVE:At the left is a Delaware & Hudson ore train leaving Tahawus, NY many years ago. At the center is golfer Graeme McDowell. See more about golf, including the US Open. At the right is an electric locomotive used by the New York Central. See why it is now in Glenmont.


PICTURE ABOVE:This old trolley car at left is now at the Connecticut Trolley Museum. Before going to Montréal, it worked in Springfield, Mass. Number 2056 is a steel lightweight built by Wason in 1927 and acquired in 1959. In the center is a “leverman” working the switches in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. At the right is La Canne A Sucre, our favorite restaurant. Said by many to be the “Friendliest Restaurant in Nice France.

Saratoga North Creek Railroad Updates – May, 2014


Chicago investor Sam Zell (through his Equity Group Investments and Chai Trust) has taken a controlling stake in the parent company of Saratoga and North Creek Railroad. Zell, who owned the Chicago Tribune when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, bought an 80 percent stake in Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings. The founders of Iowa Pacific will retain the other 20 percent of the company, which operates 10 short-line railroads including Saratoga and North Creek. Iowa Pacific was founded in 2001 by several former managers at Amtrak and Metra, which operates Chicago’s commuter rail service. All of the company’s managers will remain in place. The local railroad’s general manager stated that “Nothing’s going to change.”

Saratoga and North Creek, which operates passenger trains between Saratoga Springs and North Creek, and freight trains between Saratoga Springs and Tahawus, also runs snow trains in the winter months and the Polar Express during the Christmas holiday period. The railroad is looking at expanding service to the Albany-Rensselaer train station. While it connects with Amtrak’s Adirondack services at Saratoga, the Rensselaer station has far more Amtrak service. Saratoga & North Creek Railway is looking into the feasibility of extending passenger train service to Rensselaer to better serve passengers aiming to head north. The railroad company is hiring a consultant to look into whether there is a demand for train service that would run from the Rensselaer rail station to Saratoga Springs.

SNCRR trains could potentially pick up passengers in Rensselaer. Those taking trains to the station in Rensselaer who want to get to SNCRR’s station in Saratoga Springs have often had to take a bus or car to Saratoga because there is limited connecting train service via Amtrak.

The goal is to connect North Creek with the Albany area for passenger service,” said Wayne Lamothe, Warren County’s planner.

There was no timetable released for the potential service change. The possible connection was viewed as particularly enticing for the winter Snow Train to North Creek and Gore Mountain Ski Center because it would allow skiers to take a train directly from New York City to North Creek.

Warren County and the town of Corinth own the rails from North Creek to Saratoga Springs, and SNCRR leases them from the municipalities.

Chuck Schumer! Thanks from many of us who are interested in the railroad reaching from Saratoga to Tahawus

Yes, US Senator Schumer is helping the railroad reaching from Saratoga to Tahawus.
A tax credit intended to help short-line railroads improve their tracks, signals and other infrastructure is due to expire at the end of the month, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer from New York (some people call him the US Senator from Brooklyn, but he is such a great guy) said he wants to extend it through the end of 2016.

“The health of our small businesses and local economies depends on infrastructure,” he said during a press conference at the Saratoga Springs rail station Monday morning.

The Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which operates passenger and freight trains from the Saratoga Springs station to North Creek, is upgrading a line that runs from North Creek to former mines in Tahawus, where it plans to haul rocks left over from mining operations to customers who would use it for  aggregate used in construction and as a source of rare earth elements used by the technology industry.

The Saratoga & North Creek also would haul garnet from the Barton Mines, reducing the amount of truck traffic on local highways, he said.

Schumer’s measure, the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2013, would extend the tax credit that covers half the cost of infrastructure improvements up to a maximum of $3,500 per mile of track. Expanding the railroad’s freight business, Schumer said, would give it a reliable source of revenue and allow it to create 15 full-time jobs.

The Saratoga & North Creek, a unit of Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings, has operated passenger trains for more than two years along the former Delaware & Hudson line to North Creek. This winter it will increase the frequency of its seasonal snow trains, which operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to two round-trips each day.

In the warmer months, it ran multiple trains daily. Railroad spokesman David Simpson said the company would eventually like to connect with Amtrak trains at Rensselaer, as well as at Saratoga Springs, which it does now. One challenge: congestion on the Canadian Pacific rail line from Saratoga Springs south, which has become a busy corridor for the movement of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields to the Port of Albany.

Schumer said the railroad and tourism officials also are exploring shuttle service between the Thurman station and Lake George, a popular summertime destination for tourists.

The Saratoga & North Creek, which now carries 50,000 passengers a year, wants to double that figure to 100,000, Schumer said.
My manager is a great fan of Senator Chuck Schumer as well as Senator Kirsten Rutnik Gillibrand (he knows her brother) and said to mention they are both Democrats. Then he wanted me to tell you all about the “Democrats Abroad“.
One of the most active chapters is on the French Riviera where he lives.
They have a “Political Wine” the first Wednesday of each month (except January will be the 8th because of the holiday). Check out the WebSite. It is held at the La Canne à Sucre in Nice.

Railroads On Parade


Used to be a great model train exhibit at Grand Central every Christmas sponsored by Citibank. After the Citigroup / Citibank layout contract was no longer renewed, Clarke Dunham moved the entire layout to his museum, “Railroads on Parade” in Pottersville, NY which is open to the public by admission tickets during the ‘summer season” (Memorial Day through the fall). Pottersville is just off the Northway I-87 in the southern part of the Adirondack Park, maybe 45 minutes north of Saratoga Springs, NY and well worth the trip.

See more about the Pottersville area on the Tahawus WebSite. Check out some great model railroads.

The Day When The Town Of Tahawus Moved

ImageFifty years ago, the National Lead company decided to move its workforce from the mining village of Tahawus, which sits at the edge of the High Peaks. An entire community vanished almost overnight.

Read more by Andy Flynn, in Newcomb, NY published in the North Country Public Radio Regional News.

See more on the history of Tahawus on the Adirondack Forum.

Passengers to Tahawus

Here is a reprint from a YAHOO Group

I agree and I don’t

They plan to start hauling aggregate stone from the old titanium mine in Tahawus. There is a huge pile of tailings (millions of tons) which were left over from the mining operation. As for passenger operations, there really isn’t a destination up there that tourists would want to travel to, other than enjoying the ride itself.

 It is interesting to hear that SNCRR has already run equipment up to Tahawus. Work has been consuming so much of my time I have little free time to keep up to date on things.As for passanger service the only real destination is Newcomb, NY and SNCRR would have to provide some sort of shuttle service from the tracks into town. As there is little to do in North Creek for a 1 day round trip for someone there is even less to do in Newcomb. I would imagine that passanger service would interest some people, but I doubt it would be a large number of people.The biggest question on my mind is if Iowa Pacific will bring newer equipment in to operate these train to and from Tahawus? Their current fleet has broken down several times last year and with an aged fleet will it be dependable enough for the task?
 Yesterday, June 1st, I was up in Tahawus and near the mines. I was curious to see how far the Saratoga & North Creek Railway (Iowa Pacific) had gotten in their work to open the rail line from North Creek to the Tahawus Mines. I pulled off of N.Y. Rt. 28-N at the Boreas River crossing onto Moose Pond Road and drove in to where the rail line crosses Moose Pond Road. From this point all the way into Tahawus the right of way has been cleared of all trees and vegetation, but as the picture in my file will illustrate plenty of MOW is still required before a train will travel down these tracks. From what I see Iowa Pacific will be rebuilding this line from scratch.
> Here is the link to the file I created (D&H Adk Div (SNCRR) 6-1-13) containing the pictures I took at the Moose Pond Road crossing;
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/dandh/ files/D%26H% 20Adik%20Div% 20%28SNCRR% 29%206-1- 13/
 What about a history trip twice a month ?I’m sure that they could get enough people who would want to go and see the town and the old mine.Also, isn’t that the trail head for a bunch of the hiking trails ?Maybe they could get people interested in hiking, drop them off for a weekend and let them hike.If they are running trains out of there every day, it should not be a big deal to put a passenger car on the end of train, or behind the engine.

I agree that they will need reliable engines, and I would think they are going to need to keep a schedule.

Where are they dropping the cars once they bring them down ?

Is CPR taking them from the Mohawk Yard to their final destination ?

How many cars are they planning on taking each trip ? 50, 100 ?

How are they going to load the cars at the mine ? Is NL still running the mine ? Or is IP going to have to buy heavy equipment to load the rail cars ?

What is the timeline for getting the operation running and the first load out of the mine ?

Saratoga and North Creek Railroad will have visiting steam engine

Yes, the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad will have steam excursions.

No.63 steam engine “Leviathan”

Special Trips     Departs Corinth: September 7,8,14,15     2013


Departs from Corinth at 9:00AM, arrives in North Creek at 12:00 noon.  Included in the fare is entrance to the 1871 Historic North Creek Depot Museum, admission to the D&H Railroad Fair, BBQ lunch in the park, photo ops while steam engine is turned on the turntable.  Depart NCK at 2:00PM arrive 5:00PM.  Beverages and snacks provided as part of the fare.

One round trip each day of operation. Departing from Corinth, NY to North Creek and return to Corinth (tickets will be issued to passengers at the Corinth Station). Photo runby’s along the route, highlight will be in Hadley for pictures on the Sacandaga Bridge.

Passengers will ride in a 1928 Canadian National, open window, day coach.

The Leviathan NO. 63

L1 ND7 3146This highly sought after reproduction STEAM ENGINE will make its first visit to New York and the northeast for this event.

This replica is faithfully reproduced from the original design of the steam engine constructed at the Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1868 that was one of four commissioned by the Central Pacific Railroad.

L1 ND7 3186This reproduction took 10 years to build and is full sized and standard gauge. It uses fuel oil rather than wood to power its engine.

Saratoga & North Creek logs first freight movement on New York line in a quarter-century

Progressive Railroading” magazine had a story about the restart of freight service on the Saratoga & North Creek.


Iowa Pacific Holdings L.L.C. (IPH) announced its Saratoga & North Creek Railway (SNC) subsidiary yesterday moved the first outbound freight shipment in 25 years from North Creek, N.Y., on a long-discontinued rail line.SNC operates 56.5 miles of track between North Creek and a connection with Canadian Pacific in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The line was built in the mid-1800s as the Adirondack Railroad to open up the Adirondack Mountain region to both inbound and outbound passenger- and freight-rail service, but passenger service was discontinued in 1956.

The 29-mile Sanford Lake Branch, running from North Creek to Tahawus, was purchased by IPH last year. The last freight train operated on the upper portion of the line in November 1989, and in 2003, freight service for an International Paper plant in Corinth was discontinued, IPH officials said in a press release.

The north half of the line was purchased by Warren County in 1997, the line from Corinth to Saratoga Springs was bought by the town of Corinth in 2006. IPH acquired operating rights to the line in 2011 and has spent about $1.5 million on track, station and ancillary facility upgrades, including rail replacement, siding rehabilitations, and new ties and ballast.

Industrial minerals shipper Barton International is SNC’s first freight customer, IPH officials said. Other potential commodities for the short line include iron ore, hardwood forest products, aggregates, inbound coal and general merchandise, they said.

SNC also operates scheduled passenger-rail service over the line to North Creek, serving seven intermediate stations.


The Saratoga and North Creek Railway expects to restart freight train traffic


Yes, the railroad to Tahawus will start freight shipments from their first customer in February 2013. The customer is Barton Mines, which is closer to Gore Mountain than North Creek or Tahawus.

Barton Mines will be shipping garnet for industrial uses. They are the leading producer of garnet for products like waterjets.

Freight trains have been gone from the rail line for more than two decades.

the rail line is open from North River south, and Saratoga & North Creek Railway is working with “several other companies” in the region about using the rail for freight transportation.
Garnet, the January birthstone, derived its name from the Latin word granatus, meaning like a grain, which refers to the mode of occurrence wherein crystals resemble grains or seeds embedded in the matrix. Garnet is a family of minerals having similar physical and crystalline properties. They all have the same general chemical formula, general chemical formula for all garnet species, where A can be calcium, magnesium, ferrous iron, or manganese, and B can be aluminum, ferric iron, or chromium, or in rare instances, titanium.